by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Published By: Harlequin Teen
Release Date: 02/25/13
Genres: Paranormal, YA
Source: ARC received for review purposes
One kiss could be the last.
Seventeen-year-old Layla just wants to be normal. But with a kiss that kills anything with a soul, she's anything but normal. Half demon, half gargoyle, Layla has abilities no one else possesses.
Raised among the Wardens—a race of gargoyles tasked with hunting demons and keeping humanity safe—Layla tries to fit in, but that means hiding her own dark side from those she loves the most. Especially Zayne, the swoon-worthy, incredibly gorgeous and completely off-limits Warden she's crushed on since forever.
Then she meets Roth—a tattooed, sinfully hot demon who claims to know all her secrets. Layla knows she should stay away, but she's not sure she wants to—especially when that whole no-kissing thing isn't an issue, considering Roth has no soul.
But when Layla discovers she's the reason for the violent demon uprising, trusting Roth could not only ruin her chances with Zayne…it could brand her a traitor to her family. Worse yet, it could become a one-way ticket to the end of the world.
Holy freaking hell, I don’t even know where to start with this review! November and December of last year had me in a horrible reading slump. I hadn’t been in the mood to read YA for a few months and couldn’t really get into a lot of books I would try to read. But I really missed YA, mostly that yummy anticipation and great chemistry, and I decided to go back to one of my favorite YA authors. At first, I was a little worried about the whole gargoyle thing, but after reading Bitter Sweet Love I was already hooked in this world. White Hot Kiss was one of my most anticipated books of 2014 and I was anxiously hoping that it would not disappoint. Rith made sure that this was simply NOT a possible option!
In Bitter Sweet Love, (which you should totally read before you read this!) we were introduced to a younger Layla and Zayne (we even get a tiny peek of Roth, but more on him later or else I wont stop talking about him). Layla is a half Warden (gargoyle) and half demon. Not only can she not morph like normal Wardens but the demon side of her has a nasty side effect that doens’t let Layla kiss (or be too close) to anyone without literally sucking out their soul. Poor Layla, my heart broke for her. Because of this, she is an outcast among the Wardens who are either scared or repulsed by her. But her best friend Zayne is neither of those things. He’s always been there for Layla and isn’t scared of being close to her. Too bad he still treats Layla like a little kid. Even if he wasn’t oblivious about Layla’s feelings for him, there’s no way they can ever be together with her soul sucking condition. When Danika, a beautiful and normal Warden, stays for a visit in their estate, Layla’s insecurities and jealousy start to drive a wedge between their friendship. Normally, I can’t stand jealousy but in this case I totally understood it because Layla sees no happily ever after in her future.
In this world, the Wardens are ‘out of the closet’ and are public knowledge. I liked how this tied in with the story. Layla is allowed to attend public school but being known as ‘the girl that lives with the Warden’s’ doesn’t make things easier for her. Luckily, she has two very kick ass awesome friends who love her regardless. I really liked these two and hope to learn more about them in the next book. When Roth (!!!) a demon, enrolls in Layla’s school, everything she thought she knew about Wardens and Demons is suddenly muddled and complicated. Demon’s are bad and must be banished to the fiery pits of hell. She knows this! This has been drilled into her brain her whole life and a special power of hers even helps the Warden’s do this. But Roth isn’t anything like any other demon she’s known, which makes Layla start to question everything. Okay, someone give me a damn cookie or a pat in the back because I held off on gushing about Roth for this long! You don’t understand how hard that was! JLA has written some of the hottest YA guys (Daemon anyone?) but I think that Roth takes first place out of JLA’s guys. (Sorry Daemon!) Roth was such a fun character to read! He’s a demon so you know he has a wicked side, he’s cocky, he’s sarcastic and he has one hell of a dirty mind which he doesn’t mind sharing with Layla:
“You know, you could have said thank-you for saving your life.” Roth was suddenly beside me.
I groaned, keeping an eye on the Fiend. “You didn’t save my life.”
“You almost got plowed by a cab. And if you wanna get plowed, I will gladly volunteer my services. I promise you I’ll be a lot-”
“Don’t even finish that sentence.”
“It was just an offer.”
“You’re tongue is pierced,” I said dumbly.
A wicked gleam filled his gaze. “That’s not the only thing that’s pierced.”
“Just so you know, your virtue isn’t safe with me. So when you look like you want me to devour every inch of your mouth, I will, without an ounce of regret.”
There are so many more of those but if I added all of them then I’d have about half of the book in my review. But, he also has a really sweet and caring side (specifically for Layla). A demon who has a huge-ass snake called Bambi (an animal, although with Roth you never know…), a dragon called Thumper and 3 furry adorable kittens named Thor, Fury and Nitro. I LOVED reading about these two! There was so much chemistry between them I swear I could almost hear it sizzle. Seriously, it was hot! I’m a huge sucker for the best friend romances, but I’m Team Roth all the way!
Now that I have my little Roth-love-fest out of the way I can talk about Zayne. I really liked Zayne but…there just wasn’t a comparison to Roth. I think the reason was because even though we know he has feelings for Layla, and Roth knows, Layla is completely clueless! Not because she’s stupid but because he is so good at hiding it. We could tell because of tiny things that he would occasionally let slip, but he also pushed himself away from Layla a lot of times. Which was why this almost wasn’t even a fair love triangle. Round one goes to Roth. Don’t get me wrong, Zayne was hot and I think he and Layla could have a lot of potential but he has a lot of making up to do. Plus, the whole ‘can’t kiss’ thing sure puts a damper on things. Especially considering that Roth and Layla shared some scorching hot kisses! I have a feeling that Zayne is going to do throw his hat in the ring in the next book, which is sure gonna wreak havoc on my heart.
As grateful as I am for being able to read an early copy, I wish I would have waited. Possibly until September when the next book comes out. Yes, there is a cliffy so be ready! But, don’t let that put you off because the rest of the book (and Roth!) totally make up for it. And you can always reread until the next book comes out. JLA has another winner with White Hot Kiss! An exciting new world full with characters that you will fall in love with and that will make you swoon! I’m ready for book 2!
Some of my favorite quotes from White Hot Kiss:
“I just want to talk.”
I bit his hand.
He let out a low hiss, wrapping his hand around my throat. He pressed his fingers in, forcing my head back. “Biting can be a lot of fun, but only when it’s appropriate. And that wasn’t appropriate.”
I wrestled an arm free and gripped his. “I’m going to do worse to you than biting if you don’t let go of me.”
The demon blinked and then laughed. “I might be interested in seeing what more you can do. Pleasure. Pain. Kind of the same thing, but we don’t have time for that right now.”
I pushed against his stomach. He didn’t budge. And wow, his stomach was so not squishy either. It was ridiculously hard and trim. And I was sort of feeling him up.
“Hey, look, Bambi likes you.”
I pried one eye open. “And if she didn’t?”
“Oh you’d know, ’cause she would’ve eaten you by now.”
People with the purest souls are capable of the greatest evils. No one is perfect, no matter what they are or what side they fight for.
His lips brushed the corner of mine, and my pulse fluttered wildly. I was so far out of my league with him it wasn’t even funny.
“Is it like this Layla?”
Like this? Ah, the touching…the almost kissing. “No.” I barely recognized my own voice. “I can’t….”
“Can’t what?” The very edges of his teeth came down on my lower lip. A little nip, like he’d mentioned before, and my entire body arched against his. “Can’t what Layla?”
“I can’t be this close to him,” I admitted in a breathy voice.
Roth’s lips curved into a smile against mine. “What a shame.”
His arms tightened around me, crushing me against his chest as his hips rocked against mine. We were skin to skin in some areas, tangled together, and each breath we took, the other seemed to inhale. Our chests rose, our hearts pounded. His skin was hard and smooth under my clenching fingers. He gripped my hips, tilting me up and bringing us closer together. When he kissed me again, it was that deep, scorching kind of kiss that pushed me to the edge of the cliff. I was ready to jump off headfirst, to finally feel everything I’d always believed to be denied to me.